Largest Solar Power Plant in Africa Flips the Switch

Solar, Jasper, South Africa, Solar Reserve, Kensani Group, Intikon Energy, Google, Leon Kaye, clean energy, renewables
The Jasper solar power plant in northern South Africa is now the continent’s largest.

With seven of the world’s fastest growing economies located in Africa, it should not be a surprise that the continent’s energy demands will only surge in the coming decade. Hence plenty of opportunities exist for clean energy companies as investors worldwide realize Africa, with all of its risks, is a booming market. To that end, California-based Solar Reserve, together with numerous partners, has completed and launched the Jasper PV Project in South Africa.

Built in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, the Jasper solar power plant is now the largest of its kind on the African continent. The consortium that led the development of the Jasper facility included the Kensani Group, Intikon Energy, Rand Merchant Bank and Google. Incidentally, the Jasper plant is Google’s first clean energy investment within Africa.

Located near the diamond mining center of Kimberley, the 96 megawatt plant and its 325,000 photovoltaic modules will provide enough energy for approximately 80,000 homes. The Jasper plant is also important as a step toward South Africa’s renewable energy goals. The country of 53 million basks under bountiful sun and withstands plenty of wind, but renewables still have not come close to being fully exploited. South Africans also endure blackouts on a regular basis, and energy shortages have long been the bane of conducting business in Africa’s second largest economy.

To that end, Solar Reserve claims the project serves as an example of how to boost employment in South Africa, where unemployment has long hovered around 25 percent. According a company press release, the Jasper plant provided 1 million man-hours of construction work and 800 on-site construction jobs. Construction of the plant was also largely a local endeavor, and about 60 percent of the materials used were procured from black businesses as mandated under South Africa’s black empowerment law. Under the power purchase agreement Jasper has with the national electricity company, Eskom, the project will set aside a percentage of revenues for local economic and job development projects in the Northern Cape region.

Conceived in 2011, the Jasper power plant started construction in October 2013, and with last month’s completion, finished two months ahead of schedule. South Africa still suffers from economic inequality, high crime and a complex regulatory environment, but successful projects like that of Jasper show that South Africa, and the rest of the continent continuing on north, offers plenty of business opportunities in sectors that immediately may not come to mind.

Image credit: Solar Reserve

After a year in the Middle East and Latin America, Leon Kaye is based in California again. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. Other thoughts of his are on his site,

Based in Fresno, California, Leon Kaye has written for TriplePundit since 2010. He has lived across the U.S., as well as in South Korea, Abu Dhabi and Uruguay. Some of Leon's work can also be found in The Guardian, Sustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. You can follow him on Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost).

75 responses

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    1. cmoreride – I agree. NO future at all. I have solar panels, live in Arizona where temps get to 120 during the summer. Before Solar Panels my AC bill wa around $300 per month from May to September. With Solar Panels only $65 per month. During the winter I pay $16.95 but it skyrockets to $70 when the Xmas lights are up. My wife drives a pluggble car – its recharged with Solar Power.

      Yup…no future at all.

      1. You didn’t mention the cost of installing your solar panel system. nor did you mention any tax credits used to entice you to purchase the system.

        Using the information you posted, I’ll say you save $200 mo or $2400 per year. If the system only cost $24,000 to install, that’s a 10 year payback.
        That’s probably worth doing. But you tell us the numbers.

    1. You are an idiot. I have solar PV…it cuts my electric bill in half. In a couple of years, I’ll add 10 panels and eliminate the bill altogether.
      In 20 years, anybody who owns their roof will be paying the electric company for nighttime usage only, and their meters will run backwards all day to pay for it as their roofs provide electricity for businesses.
      Add electric cars to the equation…oil companies are DOOMED.

        1. All power sources are stabilized by the grid. When we bombed the crap out of Iraq’s power grid, power was very unreliable even from coal plants…they don’t run 24/7. Gotta refill it with coal, pulverize the coal, bring in the coal, shut down for repairs, and on and on and on.

          The power grid is the ONLY thing that gives us any sense of reliable power. Leaving the grid out as an argument against solar is like suggesting one mammal, if left without blood, is a failure because it will die.

        2. If you have a PV system have your meter disconnected and see how stable you power is. And yes coal fired plants run 24/7. I work at one. The only they are down is for repairs.

        3. Then you ought to be fully aware of the importance the grid is even to coal plants. Wiring a city up directly to a coal plant without the grid…that city will not have reliable, consistent power.

        4. The grid without power plants be those plants coal, nat gas, nuke, hydro, solar, or wind is useless; but, power plants without the grid, a transmission system and a distribution system is would be an expensive piece of equipment for nothing. My contention is solar and wind are both unreliable to base load from. With a PV system when the sun is down the power is off. Unless a UPS, an Uninterrupted Power System is fed into. All a UPS is battery back up for when the system can not generate. … With thermal plants if there isn’t enough heat generated by the sun then usually nat gas is used to make up the difference. (The Ivanpah Solar Plant is set up that way.) Thermal plants have a steam driven turbine just as coal or nat gas or nuke uses. Steam drives the turbine which in turn drives a steel shaft in a magnetic field and electricity is generated. It is how a wind turbine works also, except the there is no steam. The wind is what drives shaft running through the generator housed in the building on top of the tower.

        5. The grid CANNOT be removed from the equation when talking about power reliability no matter what the power source. To do so with PV is just as absurd as doing so with coal. What have you got, like a month two two months, all told, of planned and unplanned outages per year?

          Stripping the grid out in any serious discussion of modern day power is empty rhetoric.

        6. Depends on the owner of the utility as to when outages occur. The plant I work at we do an overhaul or turnaround as I have heard the outages called is once every five years. The company who originally built the plant and consequently sold the entire system, generation and the transmission and distribution system did overhauls on the steam plants once a year. Our availability was constantly in the 95% + range. Now if a unit comes down for a forced outage it is usually for a tube leak. One or more of the tubes blow apart in the boiler. We are down from anywhere from usually one to possibly four days. Depends on where the tube is and how difficult it is to get to. And if there is other work which can be done on the unit while it is down. Rarely does a unit come down for other equipment failure unless it is a major piece of equipment. But for tube leaks, maybe one, possibly two occur a year.

          But you are right. The grid can not be taken out of the electrical system equation. Power plants are pointless without the grid; however, the same is true of the grid without power plants. But understand I encounter many people who claim a solar/wind power system is the answer to all generation across the US. They don’t stop to realize solar and wind are unreliable for 24/7/365 generation to feed the grid.

          Hopes this helps you better understand what the overall electrical system across the US needs to provide reliable power to all customers. Mind you I have nothing against wind or solar; but, both present problems for reliable 24/7/365 power generation system.

        7. Okay…let’s assume we’re both intelligent folks who know what we’re talking about.

          We DO need baseload power. Nobody who knows anything is going to argue with that. But it doesn’t have to be what it’s been done for the past 100 years. We can get up to 80% renewable energy with a sufficient grid system. Wind power isn’t unpredictable when we’re talking about a system spanning the plains states to the East Coast. We can predict wind at 150 meters up within two hours or the weather coming and distribute power accordingly. If we take the whole of the Eastern US from Nebraska to the Atlantic we can guarantee there’s enough wind power anywhere to do most of the heavy lifting and distribute it as needed with a sufficient smart grid.

          Solar isn’t at night…but it’s very predictable during peak hours AND more efficient in cold weather. Baseload is about 55%…but solar can meet the peak hours which accounts for a huge percentage or demand during the day.

          If we have sufficient and modern grid system, we can distribute power from renewables enough to meet demand.

        8. ” But it doesn’t have to be what it’s been done for the past 100 years.” The only reliable means of generation I know of to meet 24/7/365 customer demand is to spin an iron core in a magnetic field. As I said earlier that is how a turbine and generator work. Steam drives the turbine which in turn drives a steel shaft in the magnetic field. We could get solar power if panels were put in space. But then how would it be transmitted to earth? I have read about such possibilities; but, the problem with that was the panels were stationary to face the sun all the time while the earth rotated.
          “We can predict wind at 150 meters up within two hours or the weather coming and distribute power accordingly.” Yes we can predict it but can we control it? I read an article about someone who was studying Denmark’s wind generation system bc at the time (I think) it was like 75% of Denmark’s power came from wind. But this day the when the guy who was reporting on Denmark’s power system said there was no wind and Denmark was buying power from Sweden, Finland and Germany to supply customers. Wind is fickle. The company I work for has wind generation. One day when a storm has moved in, the farm is good for about 300 MW. But when the low pressure has moved out and a high pressure has moved in the farm only produces maybe 30 to 40 MW. Unlike the coal or gas fired units which are good for full load 24/7/365 unless there is equipment troubles. The load generated by the coal or gas units are not contingent on weather.

          Another problem with wind is how many turbines are needed to produce a sustainable base load? Consider if you will, each wind farm needs a switchyard to connect or disconnect from the grid. Switch yards are not cheap. They require what is called a ring bus which is nine circuit breakers to connect or disconnect from the grid. There are nine bc if one of the CBs, circuit breakers is taken out of service for what ever reason that CB can be bypassed with the other eight completing the ring. Along with the switchyard comes a transmission system needed to feed the grid. A transmission system can cost as much as building a plant. Particularly when environmental impact statements are required for every foot along the route the proposed transmission system is to take and if the company putting in the system has to buy land to site the transmission lines on. Let’s hypothesize for a moment. Let’s say 200 MW is needed to supply the grid bc of increased meet needed generation bc one farm is not reliable to supply 24/7/365. A multiple number of farms would be needed to meet demand of 200 MW. And if the 200 MW is not met someone, probably a town, is going to be in the dark bc power companies, at least the one I work for is responsible for meeting voltage requirements. If the electrical motors on any of your appliances run under voltage they can burn up. (The article below talks of what happened to an aluminum plant in Germany when equipment was damaged from running under voltage.) And each of those wind farms will require a switchyard and transmission lines connecting into the grid somewhere. And where all those lines come together will probably be a substation, a very very large substation. Everything along the way costs big $. Which will be passed on to the customer. But yes there is probably enough wind to meet all the needs of the country; but, the price of power will be out of sight. Germany is experiencing problems with their grid bc the grid is up and down. The grid can not be controlled for stable power which can be graphed without major swings in distribution. Swings are not good, They can drop out transmission lines and trip power plants. And when one plant trips there can be a domino effect on the system with other plants. Seen it happen.

          Germany’s Green Energy Destabilizing Electric Grids – IER

          More than one third of Germany’s wind turbines are located in … but an unstable power grid causes … There is solutions and Germany will address these problems.

          The article explains better than I can.

          Peak hours for us is from usually 7 am to midnight during summer and from about 10 am to midnight in winter, depends on the weather. Hotter weather means more AC running at increased loads. Colder weather requires the fan on a furnace to run more frequently in winter. Now factor in when the days get shorter. Solar can not meet the demand. The average year round maybe 55%. But the amount of time the sun shines changes daily. Just think of what would happen in Alaska when there is only two hours of daylight in the winter. Oh yes, there is also only two hours of dark in the summer but there is no battery bank that can balance out 24/7/365 electrical demand through out the year.
          A steam driven turbine is not contingent on weather or time of year. As long as there is fuel, water and equipment the turbine keeps on spinning. I have been involved in the process for 36 years.

    2. Haha, it was just a joke. I am a chemical engineer in the oil and gas industry. It’s just a little bit of fun we like to have with our small, but nonetheless, competitors. Solar has its place, just as wind and hydro do, it’ll just require significant increases in technology to offset fossil fuel energy.

      1. Yes, solar does require significant increases in technology to beat fossil fuel on price. But with five or six halvings of price under its belt so far, solar costs are less than twice fossil fuel. One more, one lousy last halving of price, and solar becomes competitive not just in AZ or NM, but across much of the US, Asia, and part of Europe.

        1. And that’s why all the solar companies that the taxpayers paid for have already gone under….? Economics does not seem to be the strong suit of you people. Keep trying though! I give you an A for Affert.

        2. Gone under? Have you heard of Solar City? If you had invested in Solar City the year after Solyndra went under you would have seen a return of over 600%. Solar is the fastest growing energy producer in the country, last year accounting for 74% if new online commercial power production vs 4 % for nat gas. This does not include the rapidly increasing residential roof top installations. You really don’t no anything about how this works do you? Rhetorical.

        3. I noticed their earning are a whopping negative $0.28 cents per
          share. Meaning the stock price is all speculation and has nothing to do with profit of the company.
          That said, the stockholders have made money, the company hasn’t.

    3. This entire field makes only 96 megawatts. Our refineries make over 100 megawatts from waste by recovering energy in flue gas that would otherwise just be vented to the atmosphere… all in a turbine that takes up a space about 10′ x 20′. And this is peanuts compared to the energy production of the entire refinery. Solar panels at this point are nothing more than a tree hugger’s wet dream.

      1. You need to look at the whole picture. The United states leases 143000 square miles of government land to oil and gas companies for fossil fuel extraction. The fuel refined from the oil extracted in these land lease’s, powers only a third of the nations cars. Three times the amount of land is required to meet the demand of the entire U.S. automotive fleet. requiring around 400000 square miles. To provide the 869.6 billion KWH needed to power the same three trillion vehicle miles (Assuming electric cars) a total land area of 874 square miles or 29.6 by 29.6 miles on four sides of solar panels are required. The same metrics apply for grid power generation. The required space for fossil fuel extraction is greater than that of solar powered plant foot prints by magnitudes. There are 500 MW CSP. plants in California, and more are coming online every day. The bottom line is solar power is becoming cheaper than your product so the market will be your death toll. Its nothing personal it’s just financial. As for the EV market, Your refinery requires 6KWH of electricity to turn two gallons of crude oil into 1 gallon of gas. Using that same 6KWH of electricity the average electric car can travel 24 miles.

        1. Haha there has been some pretty good conversation here but I will go ahead and print out your comment and wipe my ass with it so that it has some value. You truly have no idea how any of this works do you. And that was rhetorical, please don’t respond, I’ve damaged my IQ enough reading your comment.

        2. You can wipe your fat stupid ass with what ever you want, as long as you realize those are real numbers, and in the end you just wont be able to compete. You seriously have to take a step back and realize that what you see at work (blue collar man) is the tip of the iceberg in power generation. It may appear to be the whole enchilada to your pathetic self destructive ass but to the rest of us, its a long dirty, inefficient road leading to depleted resources and sick people. PS your lack of research and knowledge shows that your IQ was already damaged long before my comment.

          “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
          Mahatma Gandhi.

          This scheme of combustion to get power makes me sick to think of–it is so wasteful.
          Thomas A. Edison.

        3. Hey Friend, Thanks for setting this turkey bird straight. He simply does not get that he is present at the end of the “Age of Fire”, and that “New Fire” is on the way.

      2. Your refineries are well and good but every megawatt comes with a negative externality. You dump your waste CO2 in our air. Fair enough when we’re buying the electricity, but not fair to the people who don’t buy it. One of the points of government is to prevent cities upriver from dumping raw sewage into the river upstream of the next city’s public water intake. And that’s what fossil fuel usage amounts to. If the cost of the sewageCO2 is factored in properly, solar is already more economical.

  1. There’s an awful lot of new energy production and storage technology afoot. NASA loves LENR, Lockheed loves Dense Plasma Focus and Compact Reactors. Contrary to cmoreide there are many new advances in PV, and a host of other new and exciting things to hybridize with it. Optical Rectification, Thermionics and a host of new storage technologies come to mind. I tend to believe that the ultimate answer will lie in one of the many manifestations of LENR and learning to deal with the Weak Force.
    Please visit the Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. and for much of the latest news regarding these fascinating new technologies.

        1. just ask what was Bill gates doing at ENEA talking with Violante.
          Or what was doing Steven Chu (ex US secretary of energy) with Brillouin boss, in Statoil walls.
          Or why does Elforsk pay test, make articles, on E-cat …
          Why did Tom Darden invest millions in E-cat, and why he could sign an agreement with Chinese governmen for a technology transfer center in Tianjin…

          It is clear that this subject is taboo, but like what happen inside bedrooms, you can see that what people do in business is sometime very different from their consensual claims and silence.

          the recent Lugano test have probably more damaged the Berlin wall of consensus than I imagined. It is standing like a wood-house infested by termits. All seems ok untill it collapse.

        2. All of that makes my head hurt a little. Is there no hope at all?
          Aren’t there even any hand warmers on the market?

      1. Authors of uninformed comments like this, Spec 9, also look like fools….

        If you took the time to look carefully and dispassionately into the area you would find that replication has occurred numerous times.

        To be honest the critics/deniers sound ever hollower and hollower…

    1. Just curious, after you kill the oil industry and get rid of most of our CO2 emissions, what are you going to do about the other 99% of greenhouse gases known as water vapor? You going to start fighting the oceans and rivers and lakes that release all that harmful junk into our atmosphere? haha… Libtards crack me up.

      1. Interesting. Try going back to climate 101.
        Just out of curiosity, co2 isn’t political. It just does what our studies show it does. Your political leanings don’t matter one iota. Do you have some angle on something here?

        1. CO2 is 100% political. Water vapor is by magnitudes the largest greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. Let’s look at it this way: about 10,000 years ago our planet began coming out of an ice age. As much as you hate the oil industry, they didn’t exist at that time. The earth did that on its own because it goes through cycles. There is nothing we can do as humans on this planet to affect where it goes next.

        2. You talk as though you really know climate science, and yet what you have just told me is highly flawed.
          Water vapor is tied to temperature and co2 is the foundation for the water vapor in the atmosphere. Water vapor is just a pos. feedback to co2 levels in the atmosphere.
          Co2 is the thermostat of the earth.

        3. Earth has gone through so many warming and cooling cycles throughout its history, none of which had anything to do with fossil fuels. Yall idiots look at 100 years of data for a planet that is billions of years old toss in some fancy word like “consensus science” and Bam! Haha. run to your bunkers!!! The atmosphere is on fire!!!

        4. Some forest fires are started by lightning. That doesn’t mean matches cannot start a forest fire. Same with climate change. Nature can bring off a change in climate without human intervention. But—-we can bring one off without “nature”.

        5. By saying “Yall Idiots”, I assume that your referring to, every scientific community, every political party, every educational institution, every political party, every peer reviewed study, every institutional religion, every organization of people in the world, with exception to one group, The American right wing conservative party, the lobbyist that have access to them and the people that hire these lobbyist, the oil and gas industries. The only people that stand to loose, given impending carbon caps. Wake up! The world is moving on.

        6. I am talking about the same idiots in the scientific community who told us that the earth was flat, or that arrested Galileo for daring to question them about the earth not being the center of the universe. So yes, I am speaking directly to you. Just because other people agree on something does mean that it is fact, logical thought will eventually be triumphant. Keep adding data points to your CO2 graphs and maybe in another 100 years everyone will eventually just admit that we have no idea what the earth is going to do next, nor do we have any control over it.

        7. Hey Keep Trying, I kind of get what you are saying; however, the Singularity is very nearly up on us. Processing speeds relating to modeling physical events is advancing at a staggering rate. I get that man’s sense of his impact upon the earth might be a little overblown. But here’s the deal. We are currently stuck in an oil rut established by John D. Rockefeller with the advent of gasoline. Many far cheaper, and far less polluting alternatives are on drawing boards around the world. Oil is an incredibly sloppy and environmentally unfriendly kind of thing. Contenders come from many areas of study. Some of the most promising are on the list below.

          47+ BLACK SWANS

          With updates, 11/10/14

          When you take into account the amount of money that is spent on energy in the US annually, approximately 6-8 Trillion dollars, that’s, 200 quads at an equivalent of 8 Billion gallons of gas per Quad. These numbers were extracted from the Energy Information Agency, the EIA. They did not make it easy to get to. There were far to many different units of measurement used, BTU’s to Mega Joules, and everything in between , along with missing and irrelevant data, but it has been verified by at least one other independent analyst. It is easy to see how much resistance the oil companies and the Nuclear power folks might muster.

          Much of this may be new to you. I understand that, but please consider these things. You want innovation that will change the face of the planet? I think that at last count 656 patent applications can be viewed for LENR alone. On another note I added number 17, not because it generated excess energy, but because it’s just damned neat that plasma is so easy to generate.

          Additionally there is much info available through a DOE sanctioned site on all of these birds. Also for papers and abstracts. And here is a website put together by the leaders of the LENR Pack,

          Come on Already!! It may very well be that not all of these advances will ever come to fruitiion. However at the rate new approaches to energy production are coming to the surface I am reminded of an old adage, “What man can conceive, man can achieve.”. About 1 per month is showing up currently. I am betting that at least 1/2 of these birds can power a new and extraordinarily interesting world. Maybe all of them! Do not dismiss these birds.

          Now here is the deal, this rattles me a little.

          I ran actoss a presentation made to the Nobel Prize People on Thermionics in 1929. He was over unity. In that paper the term “Perpetuum Mobile” was used. I thought I would google it. People around the world have built so many interesting devices, motors, that ran all by themselves, using MANY curious phenomena Not the least of which is this one. . The big money guys do not give one damn dam about you, me, or the rest of mankind. They may take big write offs because they put on an obfuscatory show of being benefactors, but they cling to that which is killing the earth. I’m a little rattled!

          Relatred technologies are color coded.

          It’s gotta be on this list, and the list is growing

          1. Cold Fusion, also known as Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reactions, Controlled Electron Capture Reaction. These technologies are all about forcing Hydrogen or Deuterium atoms into the crystal lattice of a metal such as Nickel. Once the crystal lattice of the metal nano powder has been sufficently saturated with Hydrogen excess heat is generated. This is not hard to see, as everything is still vibrating, but now all the atoms are in much closer proximity than before. The quanta mechanical explanations are not fully understood, but there are several companies and government offices that have operational devices. Good bye oil. Google LENR, NASA, Zawodny, and Bushnell. NASA loves it. Checkout this youtube video from NASA. The big question is why the DOE is dragging their heels.

 October 8 Report

 This is the Federation of American Scientist

          Do a quick search at the above site for “LENR” The Indians are on it.

          2. Dense Plasma Focus goes something like this. Two cylindrical electrodes are enclosed in a glass tube after one electrode is slipped inside the other. The tube is then filled with Boron gas and high voltage is applied to the electrodes. A plasma is then produced and pulsed by a strong magnetic field. As this pulsing is increased and focused the plasmoids begin to ball up on one another. As pulsing continues a beam of electrons emanates from one end of the tube and a beam of protons from the other, with extremely high amounts of energy being produced. Google Charles Chase, Skunk Works, and Dense Plasma Focus. Watch Charles Chase on youtube.

          3. Catalyzed Hydrogen is what will replace Electrolysis. Molybdenum Sulfide is but one of the substances that will trim the Hydrogen right off the water molecule with no energy being expended, releasing it to power a fuel cell and generate electricity directly. There was a graduate student by the name of Chang working in Berkeley CA on this a couple of years ago.

          4. Graphene is essentially one atom thick layers of Carbon alternated between layers of insulation, such as mylar. When you get a bunch of these layers stacked up and attach electrodes to the top and bottom of the stack you have created a capacitor of another color. Extremely high values of capacitance can be arrived at. 3000 farads is what I have seen advertised, the size of a marine battery. This material can be used as a capacitor, a spectacular new form of battery, or configured as an extremely efficient solar cell. Additionally I have recently heard of work aimed at producing LENR in a Graphene environment. Ampenergo is a company that I think licensed this technology from the government. I want so much for Elon Musk to incorporate this into his new models.

 Not quite sure where to put this one.

          5. Zero Point Energy/Energy of the Vacuum used to be a little far out for me, but now I think I’ve got a cursory handle on it. The process on a Quantum level is much like the process that produces Ball Lightening. When tectonic plates shift causing an earth quake occasionallly something called Ball Lightening happens. Only in Zero Point it is what happens when an Orthorhombic plane from another dimension intersects our dimension and causes a disruption, releasing energy. Here’s a Moray B. King video from the Breakthrough Energy Movement.

          Also a piece straight from NASA discussing something call an EmDrive utilizing RF energy at 935 Mhz to interact with the Energy of the Vacuum.

          6. Acoustic Cavitation/Bubble Fusion/Sonofusion. I am not sure at all how to say anything about this, but there is a great deal published about the possibility of deriving energy using this phenomenon.

          7. Muon catalyzed Fusion. Oh this is a good one!! Fermi Lab and SLAC developed a coherent beam of Muon’s a couple of years ago. They shoot it into Hydrogen or Deuterium gas, and because the Muons have a negative charge equal to an electron, but are 207 times more massive than an electron they knock the electrons out of their shells around the Nucleus and the Fusion is made to happen in the atoms Nucleus. I don’t know how many electron shells a beam can penetrate. But I’m betting it is more than one. Pretty good stuff…

          8. HALOGEN-CATALYSED COLD NUCLEAR FUSION, yet another, not quite as much info available for this flavor.

          9. Thermionic Power Generation/Thermoelectric, I heard about this just the other day. It may be that this technology will be a prime player. The devices turn heat from the sun, or anything else directly into electricity, instead of using light as photovoltaic solar cells do.

          I don’t quite get it, but here is a patent from 1981 for this technology. I think NOW is the time for it to rise to the occasion.

          10. LENR with Zeolites, And of course the loading of zeolite with hydrogen, or deuterium gas

          You’ve got to love these guys. I would think that this would have to be one of the most easily demonstrated methods of cold fusion. At least if you believe these two fellows.

          11. Papp Engine. As it turns out plasma is pretty simple to make. Anyone can do it with a 12 V battery. Ever seen a simple spark while you were giving yourself a jump start to your automobiole? Within the spark, taking into account that 1% of the atmosphere is composed of Nobel gases, which go to the Plasma state within the spark.

          There are no magnets to confine the plasma once it is formed, so it is allowed to expand and drive a piston. My explanation is my own, but I think its close.

          12. Bloom Box. I don’t know how I missed this one. All the big money is going HERE. The video is from 60 minutes a couple of years ago. Things are on a roll here with what looks like a jump for fuel cells. It amounts to thin wafers of Silicon that have been coated with different materials on each side and then stacked, much as the way you would stack Graphene layers upon one another.

          From what is said on 60 minutes these things are being deployed at major .com outfits in Silicon Valley.

          13. BlackLight Power Hydrino machine. OK, we’re at a bakers dozen now, what the heck is going on. 10MW of electricity out of 1 cu. ft. package!!??

          The following is a caption under an illustration at the above website.

          SF-CIHT Cell Generates Electricity Directly from Water Freely Available in the Humidity in the Air

          14. Steorn Machine. They say that this new kind of electric generator has been duplicated by a number of organizations. A key fundemental cited is “Magnetic Regauging” Ferrite materials figure in as well. I actually have some experience using ferrite material. I built Isolators and circulators for military microwave applications. Biasing a ferrite puck with magnets causes microwave energy to flow in a circular manner within the ferrite. Reverse the magnetic polarity and energy flows in the opposite direction. While I was working in the field as a technician I was told that the phenomenon was not 100% understood. Perhaps it is now. Additionaly I witnessed a couple of folks producing a little bit different kind of sintered ferrite material in the late 80’s that turned out to be high temperature super conducting material. It’s the symmetry of a magnetic circuit that has been the thing that has been in the way. They say they have created a means of creating a constantly asymmetrical magnetic circuit. Or, something like that. Holy Smokes it’s beginning to make sense to me! On a personal note, about 30 years ago I had recurrent dreams of a machine very much like this one. A little spooky!

          15. Hydrobetatron. The best information that I have seen so far paints it as another flavor of LENR, BUT IT IS OPEN SOURCED!!

          16. The Stirling Engine If this isn’t a show stopper, I don’t know what it is!!

          17. Multiplaz Welding and Cutting Tool, This doesn’t generate excess heat, but it uses tap water and alcohol to make a heck of a plasma cutter. The fact that Plasma can so easily and cheaply produced is what I find interesting.

          18. Optical Rectification The deal here is essentially that they have tapped the electromagnetic nature of light. After all, different colored lights have different wavelenghts and therefore different frequencies. Everything from DC to daylight and beyond is what makes up the electromagnetic spectrum. They have now figured out how to rectify these extremely high frequencies and produce direct current electricity. You rectify 60 cycle AC when you build an electrical bridge circuit of diodes to convert it to DC. Optical Rectification is a Quantum kind of thing.

 I’m not quite sure where to put this one.

          19. Thermophotovoltaics

          20. Photoswitching This amounts to a hinged nanomolecular construct that switches from one state to the other on demand releasing energy. When the sun isn’t out rechargeable solar batteries use a small electric current or a small light to start the switching back to the other state. There is some plumbing involved and a liquid medium holds thr charge.

          21. Ryden dual carbon battery

          22. Singlet Exiton Fission A new approach to Solar Cells

          23. Thorium Molten Salt Reactor I have resisted this one, but I couldn’t tell you why. I have not seen scalability yet.

 Al Opdenaker likes this one.

 The best!!

          24. Vanadium Redox-flow Battery

          25. Artificial Leaf Straight from MIT

          26. Thermionic Self Charging Graphene Batteries, google “self charging batteries”!! The hybridization has begun.

          27. Piezoelectric self charging Batteries

          28. Magnetic Field Regauging Some of the stuff on this list is pretty wild. Some of the websites that discuss this topic are pretty hard to swallow, but the science is catching up with recent lab results and discoveries. A little time searching on google and you will start seeing the possibilities.

          29. BEST HomeMade Magnetic Motor Construction – HoJo Motor It deserves a closer look

          30. Superhydrophobia A weak Black Swan at best, but it is a new way to generate it. From MITEI

          31. Steam from the sun New way of making steam from MITEI

          32. Cannae Drive/EmDrive Straight from NASA


          33. Traveling Wave Reactor Bill Gates is working this one.

          34. Solid-State Batteries

          If graphene doesn’t do it all by itself this technology is staged to replace Lithium in 2020.

          35. HHO-Catlytic Converter, or H-CAT

          36. Betavoltaics/Nuclear Batteries “For 50 years, people have been investigating converting simple nuclear decay into usable energy, but the yields were always too low,” Fauchet explained. “We’ve found a way to make the interaction much more efficient, and we hope these findings will lead to a new kind of battery that can pump out energy for years.”

          37. “Photoinduced Electron Transfer pathways in Hydrogen-Evolving Reduced Graphene Oxide-Boosted Hybrid Nano-Bio Catalyst,” appeared in the July 7 issue of ACS Nano.Read more at:

          38. Optoelectric Nuclear Battery

          39. Searl Generator

          40. Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor For some time now I have been confusing this approach to #2 above “Dense Plasma Focus”. This was just released on Oct 15 2014 by Lockheed Management. DPF may have other functions.


          41. Inertial Electrostatic Confinement

          42. “kinetic isotope effect” in nanoaluminum particles 110, 80, and 38 nanometers in size.

          43. PRISM REACTOR Major Nuclear Remediation

          44. Magnesium Batteries

          45. Energy Harvester

          46. Nanopore Batteries

          47+. Here’s a list of different ways of getting to Fusion, old and new. I am still evaluating several of these. Some of them look like dead dogs, others are up and coming. To date, there have been several approaches to try to harness fusion reaction for electricity production: Tokamak, Levitated Dipole, Riggatron, Field-Reversed Configuration, Reversed Field Pinch, Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor, Spheromak, Laser Fusion, Z-machine, MagLIF, Focus Fusion, Farnsworth–Hirsch Fusor, Bussard Polywell, Muon-catalyzed Fusion, Heavy Ion Fusion, Magnetized Target Fusion, Colliding Plasma Toroid Fusion, Cold Fusion, Sonofusion, Pyroelectric Fusion, Astron, Tri Alpha Energy, Helion Energy, Beam Fusion, General Fusion, Migma, and others.[26][27]

          Paul D. Maher

        8. Holy crap that was a long post. Don’t get me wrong, just because I design refineries and chemical plants does not mean I am against alternative energy. I am only against criminalizing the petrochemical industry in the name of someone’s opinion (yes it is only an opinion) that oil is destroying the earth.

          Using high power computers to generate a model is the biggest load of BS being passed off as science. As someone who lives on the gulf coast let me tell you that when a hurricane develops, these “models” will tell you that the storm is going to make landfall in Honduras, Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, or make its way up the east coast….. The models mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

          All forms of energy have their place, and any technological advancement is a step in the right direction because oil is only temporary in the big scheme of things. One day we won’t have a choice, but until that day comes why not use what we have available to help us advance our civilization forwards and make it easier to make the next step technologically? The answer is simple, the desire to innovate for you people is not the goal, it is only a by-product of your desire to kill the oil industry.

          Gather everything you own that is plastic and throw it away cause our ugly evil petrochemical plants made that for you.

        9. The IPCC scientists work for free and the Heartland Institute make a living out of lying for tobacco and fossil fuels. But then you can’t seem to come to terms with that. Why is that?

        10. And let’s also not forget that one solar flare like the one that missed us by a week in 2012, a meteor strike, or massive volcanic eruption will do more damage to our ecosystem than 1000 years of burning fossil fuels and a dozen nuclear wars. Step out of your bubble, release all your tensions and just enjoy your life. The oil industry has taken my family and me around the earth and back and it is an amazing place; one that we have absolutely no control over.

      2. Water vapor is not 99%, but something like 3/4 of the greenhouse effect. And water vapor is self limiting. If somehow or other more gets into the atmosphere, there’s this complex phenomenon that takes it out. You may have read about it in science class, if you got to the grade they covered it in—RAIN.

  2. The 15 panels I bought last year will be paid off in about 8-9 years. It covers 2/3 of my E-energy demand. I live in the Netherlands, 52 deg. north. So even there it is economical…. untill LENR/cold fusion will be introduced of cource.

  3. No mention of public money used in financing, so I assume it will be profitable and not just a taxpayer funded boondongle. On the other hand, just cause taxpayer money wasn’t mentioned doesn’t mean it wasn’t used.

    1. Exactly, this “highly competitive” technology has to require the government to pay people to buy it and still not be capable of turning any profits. But other than that it is completely competitive with the oil industry…

      1. So, you’d be implying that the current success of the oil industry has been in no way influenced by government/public funds in order to reach its present day level of “competitiveness”? I think we all know that isn’t true given that the oil industry still gets public funds to grease the wheels of discovery and extraction, about $5 billion a year give or take?

        But if we think about the beginning being the invention of deep oil drilling in 1859, that’s a solid 150 years of development. Nuclear Energy Institute pegs total government funding since 1950 for oil alone at $369 billion.

        You can’t take a $369 billion handout and then point at a young industry saying it can’t survive without public funding.

        1. Haha. The oil industry was profitable from the beginning because it developed and produced a product that made people’s lives better. Government funding is used to further the benefits that the industry offers us by increasing efficiency, safety and innovation.

          None of this is true for solar. This industry relies heavily on the government paying people to use it. BIG difference between the two.

        2. Well I agree that there is a big difference between the oil and solar given that oil comes with a long list of negative externalities that affect us but don’t show up on its price tag–even outside of the conversation of climate change. Solar improves the lives of people without the same unwanted repercussions.

          Let’s not forget that the “profitable” oil industry in this country started as a monopoly (Standard Oil) which makes it much easier for it to be profitable but is probably less concerned with improving the lives of its consumers through competition.

          I get the allegiance to the industry that you work for, and I don’t think anyone would argue that hydrocarbons have helped us get to where we are today–which is great, but it’s also allowed us to get to the point to reassess the risk and reward of how we live. Oil producers have played a pivotal role of their time, but so did the makers of saddles and buggy whips.

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